Colorado Gun Laws Still Lax 13 Years After Columbine

Skeptics don't expect much to change after nearby Aurora massacre
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 21, 2012 9:26 AM CDT
Colorado Gun Laws Still Lax 13 Years After Columbine
A SWAT team officer stands watch near James Holmes' apartment in Aurora, Colo.   (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Thirteen years after the Columbine High School shootings, gun laws remain little-different in Colorado, reports the New York Times, as James Holmes over the past two months was able to legally buy an assault rifle, a shotgun, and two handguns. Colorado has enacted a few minor restrictions on guns since 1999—it's harder to carry concealed weapons, there are regulations on selling firearms at gun shows, and it's illegal to make "straw man" purchases for people who could not legally buy guns otherwise—but the state mostly prohibits local governments from restricting gun rights.

Experts are, unsurprisingly, divided whether this latest example of gun violence will change anything. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have called for tighter gun controls. But just as Columbine and the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords caused few major changes, many think this latest tragedy will also do little to shake up the status quo. "I think very little will happen because our political leaders are so afraid of the gun lobby," one advocate, whose son died in the Columbine shooting, told the Wall Street Journal. (More James Holmes stories.)

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